I’m wracked with guilt for not keeping this blog up to date during our sojourn here in Estados Unidos. My excuses are:
No individual thing we do seems particularly blog-worthy.
We’re living with a dial-up connection so I can only upload a blog when I run down to MacDonald’s for a mango-pineapple smoothie and some wifi.
Blogo refuses to recognize when I’m connected to the internet so, instead of composing my blogs ahead of time on Blogo and then just uploading them at MacDonald’s, I have to find other ways to do it. Or just wait and compose the whole thing at Mickey D’s, but that’s not conducive to a good blog.
But, of course, these are just excuses. Fact is, I just haven’t felt particularly inspired. But, I decided not to let that stop me and just go ahead and bring you up to date on our “vacation” so far.
We’ve done quite a bit of visiting with old friends while we’ve been here. We met with Ashlie and Kay who used to work at City Hall, and had a beer and some appetizers with them while getting caught up on each others’ lives. Of course, they’re already caught up on our life since they read the blog. Unfortunately, Sarah was unable to join us but I visited with her for awhile in between customers at City Hall. We were fortunate in our timing as Police Chief Rick Lewis chose August 1 as his retirement date. We got in on the celebration and got to see lots of old friends there. Following that was Silverton’s own hometown festival, Homer Davenport Days, where we again got to see lots of folks we know. We even fit in a trip to Idaho to see Lulu’s cousin Treva and her husband and our old friend, Jeff. Also visited with longtime friends Shelly and Randy in Moscow, Idaho. Shelly inspired me to get back playing my ukulele. We still have a BBQ planned for the end of the month when we’ll get to see a bunch of our friends from up here in the Silverton Hills. Last Sunday, we had a mini family reunion at my sister’s house in Eugene. Got to see my folks, our kids, my siblings, nieces, a nephew, a couple of great-nephews (I think that’s the right term) and, of course, everyone’s spouses or significant others. Had a good time. This coming weekend, we’re driving up to Port Ludlow, Washington to attend the Pacific Northwest Westsail Owners’ Rendezvous.
One of our missions while stateside is to buy a bunch of stuff that we either can’t find in Mexico or is prohibitively expensive south of the border. We got engine parts, a spare prop, some line and sailing hardware, books, CDs, cotton yarn, vitamins, a griddle for the Cobb cooker, 30W motor oil (yep, can’t find 30W in Mexico), PB Blaster, peppermint soap, sea cocks, thru-hulls, sanitation hose, etc, etc. We’ll send all this booty down to Bill & Elli’s in Phoenix and then transfer it to Kevin’s car when he picks us up to cart us back down to San Carlos.
We got an e-mail from our friend Charlie who’s rebuilding an Alajuela 38 between Toledo and Newport. Like us, he had bought a Lavac toilet but then decided to install a composter instead. He offered us his Lavac at a substantial savings so we headed over to Newport on Monday to pick it up and see how Charlie’s boat is coming along. While there we had lunch at Hoover’s Bar & Grill, our old haunt. After lunch we walked around the marina to see who was still there that we knew. It was very gratifying that the ladies in the marina office remembered us and wondered what the heck we’d been up to for the last 2 years. We decided to walk over to the transient dock just to see what boats were there. On the way, I told Lulu that it was conceivable that we might see a boat we knew in Mexico who was headed back up to Washington or Portland or someplace. Newport is, after all, a common stop for sailors traversing the Oregon coast. I said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if s/v Ponderosa happened to be here?” Ponderosa was the only boat I could think of at the moment that was headed back to the Pacific Northwest from Mexico. As we got further down the dock, I could finally see the boat tied up at the end. Damned if it wasn’t Ponderosa! We walked up and knocked on the hull. I wish I’d had my camera so I could have recorded the look on Sherry’s face when she recognized us. We first ran into Bob and Sherry on Ponderosa two years ago in Brookings, Oregon when we were both on our maiden voyages down the coast to Mexico. We then crossed paths in Eureka, Avalon, La Paz, Mazatlán, etc. They hadn’t heard anything about us leaving Mexico so they were pretty dumbfounded to see us standing on the dock in Newport. We had a good visit with them before heading back over to Silverton.
One of the main items of interest this trip has been one of Cody and Scott’s cats. This one is named “Left Eye” or “LE” (pronounced ‘Ellie’) for short. Just before we got here, LE had a run-in with something. We’re guessing it was a car. The outcome was that she broke her right femur just about at the hip joint. Shattered it pretty good. They had taken here to the vet who had taken x-rays and told them their options: orthopedic surgery for thousands of dollars with no guarantee it’d do any good, or amputation. They brought LE home to ponder it. Meanwhile she was hobbling around the house pretty well considering she only had one working back leg and the other just had to be drug along. Eventually it was decided that amputation of the broken leg was the best, and most affordable option, other than doing nothing. So, about a week ago LE became a tripod cat. As long as her pain meds are kept up, she’s doing pretty darn good. Doesn’t seem to let the loss of one of her limbs slow her down very much. But, a couple nights ago, she got to picking at her stitches and at the incision. Worrying that she might break things open and get an infection, Cody and Scott decided they needed to do something to keep her from picking at the wound. A vet would have probably prescribed one of those conical collars that pets hate so much and make them look like clowns. However, they decided to clean the wound with peroxide and then put something around it that would be objectionable to taste so that, if LE started worrying the wound with her teeth or tongue, she’d get a mouthful of something that would dissuade her from doing it again. The first few suggestions were dismissed as being way too painful: lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, etc. Then Scott came out with a bottle of aloe vera gel. He figured that it might help the healing process as well as not taste too good. Another suggestion (mine) was to use Vicks Vap-O-Rub. I figured that a snootful of menthol might dissuade her from even getting close enough to pick at the sutures. Ultimately, the aloe was tried but it wasn’t objectionable enough so the Vick’s was applied.
You can imagine how much LE liked all this attention. Bad enough that we had to grab her by the scruff several times a day to give her pain meds but now, they were ganging up on her, holding her down and touching the wound. She was not a happy kitty. After applying the Vick’s, she shot off to the laundry room where her bed and food are. A few minutes later, Cody cried out “She’s foaming at the mouth!” We all rushed back to see and she did appear to be foaming a bit (OK, quite a bit). However, we’re pretty sure all it was was that she must have licked the Vick’s, didn’t like it, and was now super-salivating to get it out of her mouth. There were no ill effects and, a few minutes later she was playing with a bug. The next day, her wound did appear to be much improved. Only a week until she gets the stitches out. Can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned.
Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, after 2 years of walking all over the beaches and sidewalks of La Paz, Loreto, Puerto Escondido, Mazatlán, Puerto Peñasco, Bahía de Los Angeles, as well as all the little fishing camps and uninhabited anchorages, the soles of my Chaco sandals were delaminating from the innersole.
A fellow cruiser in BLA had told me that the warranty should cover the repair. However, the soles were getting pretty thin so they were due for a resoling anyway. I mailed them off to the “ReChaco” place and I’ll be damned if they didn’t resole them at no cost. Of course, since those were the only shoes I brought with me, I had to buy another pair to wear while the first pair was being repaired. Now I’m really ready for another bunch of years of trekking in Mexico.
Lulu spent some of her time getting Cody’s garden whipped back into shape and it’s looking pretty damn good:
We decided that we wanted to do some kind of project to help Cody & Scott. Something that they were going to do anyway so we could save them some time, which they seem to have precious little of. We know they want to get chickens next spring so we decided to rehabilitate the chicken coop.
Lulu got the inside all cleaned out and I spent a couple days putting together some nesting boxes:
Still have to build a self-feeder and self-waterer as well as mount a roost for the ones that aren’t in nesting boxes at night. And, of course we need to fence in a yard for them, too. We enjoyed having a flock of chickens when the kids were younger and I’m sure Scott & Cody will enjoy them too.
Lulu has been getting in to the yard work. Not much of that to do on the boat. And, Scott & Cody’s new riding lawnmower certainly does nothing to detract from working outside.
I got our reservations for our flight to Florida at the end of the month. You knew we were going to Florida, right? See, we’re officially Florida residents now that we have a Florida address through St. Brendan’s Isle mail service. But we’ve never actually been to Florida. We currently have Oregon driver’s Licenses with a Florida address on them. Seems about time we got actual Florida licenses, thus the trip to the Sunshine State. And, as long as we’re going to be there anyway, we figured we’d rent a car and tool on down to Key West, just to say we’ve been and to see what it’s all about. So, we won’t actually get back to Mexico until almost the middle of September. I suspect it’ll still be plenty hot down there when we return.
There! My guilty conscience has been assuaged and you all are up to date again.